In 1963, a construction engineer found a small hoard of coins while excavating the north bank of the Ohio River during construction of the Sherman Minton Bridge... The coins were grouped as though they had originally been in a leather pouch that had long since disintegrated.Credit for text and images here, where there is additional information. Via the Ancient Waterways Society, an online Yahoo! group for persons interested in the diffusion of people, cultures, and goods through the ancient world. I founded the group about five years ago; it currently has about 50 members and an active message board (about 500 postings in the past year). It's free and open to anyone to browse.
The discoverer kept most of the hoard for himself, but gave two of the coins to another engineer on the project. In 1997, the second engineer's widow brought these two to Troy McCormick, then manager of the new Falls of the Ohio Museum in Clarksville, Ind., not far from the find site. She donated them to the museum, where they remain today.
McCormick identified the smaller coin from a guide to Roman coins as a bronze of Claudius II, from 268 A.D. The larger coin has been identified... as a follis of Maximinus II, from 312 or 313 A.D....
Unfortunately, the discoverer moved south to work on another bridge shortly after the find, and the second engineer's widow could not remember his name, so the bulk of the hoard is lost.
For several years, the Falls of the Ohio Museum had an exhibit about the find... the exhibit has recently been removed from public display, because the Museum belongs to the state of Indiana, and the exhibit conflicted with the state's archaeological policy that there is no documented evidence of pre-Columbian contacts.
02 May 2009
Roman coins (3rd-4th century A.D.) found in the U.S.